I argue that we can clarify and explain an important form of focalization or narrative perspective by the structure of perspective in sensory imagination. Understanding focalization in this way enables us to see why one particular form of focalization has to do with the representation of perceptual perspective in the narrative world, and to explain why there is a strict functional distinction between voice and perceptual focalization, why all forms of perceptual focalization is internal to the world of the narrated events, and why this does not prevent the narrator from “seeing” what is happening in the narrated world. Explaining perceptual focalization as a material counterpart of the perspective in sensory imagination enables us to see the crucial role played by the narrative representation of perspective in the reader’s understanding of and immersion in the narrative as well the reader’s emotional response to the narrative.
Semiotica, 2013, Issue 194, p. 111-136
focalization; sensory imagination; Berkeley’s puzzle; narratology; immersion; Faculty of Humanities